Man sent for trial after death of ‘smiley, generous’ 16-year-old Louise Smith

June 1, 2020 12:45:28 PM

A 29-year-old man charged with murder following the death of 16-year-old Louise Smith has been sent for trial as the girl’s family pay tribute to the “smiley, generous” teenager.

Louise was last seen alive in Somborne Drive in the Leigh Park area of Havant, Hampshire, at midday on VE Day (May 8).

Her body was found in nearby woodland at Havant Thicket on May 21.

Louise Smith, dead
Louise Smith’s body was found in woodland at Havant Thicket on May 21 (Hampshire Constabulary/PA)

Shane Mays, of Havant, appeared by videolink for a short hearing at Winchester Crown Court during which he spoke only to confirm his name.

Judge Keith Cutler adjourned the hearing for a plea and trial preparation hearing on July 15 with the trial provisionally set for November 10 and remanded Mays into custody.

The judge told the hearing which was subject to technical difficulties: “I apologise to everyone for the quality of this hearing, it’s appalling but shows the difficulties we face.”

Louise’s family said in a statement released through Hampshire Police: “Louise was a typical 16-year-old girl, who enjoyed spending time with her friends. She loved animals and being outdoors.

“She will be remembered as a smiley, generous person who loved her family and was loved by all.”

They added: “Louise had beautiful blue eyes, a cheeky smile and was known for her kindness to others. She loved animals and had a sarcastic sense of humour.”

Flowers left outside Havant Thicket in Hampshire, where the body of 16-year-old Louise Smith was found
Flowers left outside Havant Thicket in Hampshire, where Louise Smith’s body was found (Ben Mitchell/PA)

A 29-year-old woman, who was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender in connection with the investigation, has been released on bail, Hampshire Police said.